IPL 2024: Gujarat Titans pull off a heist as Mumbai Indians begin another season with defeat | Cricket News



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NEW DELHI: Gujarat Titans bowlers produced a stunning late all-round effort in a remarkable display of grit and perseverance as the last year’s finalists pulled off a heist to hand Hardik Pandya‘s Mumbai Indians a six-run defeat in their Indian Premier League season opener in Ahmedabad on Sunday.
The improbable win Titans secured in a blockbuster of a contest meant Mumbai Indians maintained their tradition of losing their opening match of IPL since 2012.

The defeat was also MI’s third loss to Titans at the Narendra Modi Stadium.
As It Happened
With 43 needed off the last 5 overs and 7 wickets in hand, Mumbai Indians were cruising towards victory but Titans made a superb late comeback in the death overs to strangulate the visitors in a thriller.

Jasprit Bumrah (3/14) was at his absolute best in his first IPL game in two years, firing in his express yorkers at will to help MI restrict Titans to 168 for 6.
But Bumrah’s effort was not enough as batters like Tilak Varma and skipper Hardik Pandya failed to complement his brilliance.
MI ended at 162/9 as things went downhill when all they needed was 43 runs off last 30 balls.

While spinners Rashid Khan (0/23 in 4 overs) and R Sai Kishore (1/24) gave very little with the ball despite the dew setting in, veteran Mohit Sharma (2/32) used his variations with different types of slower deliveries to turn the course of the match.
Spencer Joshnson (2/25) and Umesh Yadav (2/32) were brilliant bowling the 19th and 20th over as Hardik Pandya relegating himself to No. 7 in batting order is something that would need explanation. He did hit a six and four in the last over but Umesh had the last laugh.
Even Tilak Varma refusing a single to Tim David also beggars belief.
MI lost their first wicket without a run on the board after Ishan Kishan failed to open his account, nicking an Azmatullah Omarzai (2/27) delivery to Wriddhiman Saha as the pacer set him up with some excellent swing bowling. After testing Kishan with inswingers, Omarzai got one to move away and the batter could only edge it to the keeper.
New face Naman Dhir began with a flurry of boundaries, leaving the likes of Ravi Shastri excited in the commentary box as the experts discussed the best possible combination for India in the upcoming T20 World Cup.
Having being hit for three fours and a six by Dhir, Omarzai had the last laugh as the batter was adjudged lbw after the Afghan had opted for a review after the on-field umpire thought otherwise.
Meanwhile, Rohit Sharma (43 off 29 balls) found one on the slot and flicked Umesh Yadav over mid-wicket for a maximum as MI reached 52/2 at the end of powerplay.
Dewald Brevis (46 off 38 balls) also was in fettle as the South African struck sixes off Rashid Khan, Spencer Johnson and Sai Kishore as MI inched closer to the target of 169.
However, Sai Kishore trapped Rohit and Impact Sub Mohit had Brevis caught and bowled to bring GT back into the contest.
Tilak Varma (25 off 19) perished while truing to force the pace, and MI skipper Hardik Pandya too failed to complete the chase after coming close.
Earlier, young left-hander B Sai Sudharsan top-scored with a 45 off 39 balls for GT, while Rahul Tewatia made 22 off 15 balls down the order.
But the evening, without an iota of doubt, belonged to Bumrah, who missed the whole of last edition due to a lower back stress fracture.
He dismissed David Miller and Sudharsan in the 17th over in a space of three deliveries but it didn’t help in final outcome.
Assuming that there could be dew later in the evening, MI’s new skipper Hardik Pandya invited GT to bat first, and Shubman Gill in his first game as captain was up to the task.
Looking to make an impact against his former team, Pandya opened the bowling and Wriddhiman Saha (19) slapped a wide ball through the off-side to begin GT’s campaign with a boundary.
Up against Gill, Pandya erred in line and the stylish batter used his wrists to whip him off his pads for a four, as the MI captain conceded 11 runs after his surprise move to start the proceedings at the expense of one of the world’s best bowlers, Jasprit Bumrah.
As Saha got a few useful boundaries, Gill found the fence with consummate ease as GT were off to a flyer.
However, Bumrah’s introduction in the fourth over brought MI instant success as the lead pacer sent back Saha with an express yorker, hitting the base of the middle stump. The former India stumper couldn’t bring his bat down in quick time.
Spin was brought on in Shams Mulani and Gill rocked back to cut the left-arm spinner through covers for a four. The GT captain then got down on one leg to slog-sweep Mulani for a huge six over deep square-leg.
Piyush Chawla bowled an economical first over, even as GT managed 47 runs for the loss of one wicket in the powerplay.
Chawla continued and Gill tried to disturb his rhythm, but failed. He danced down the ground to hoick him but did not get the necessary elevation, as Rohit Sharma, who is normally not seen fielding in such positions, judged it well to complete a neat catch in the deep.
The experienced Chawla snared the big fish with a googly as Gill (31 off 22 balls) walked back after getting his eye in, much to the relief of the hordes of Mumbai supporters at the Narendra Modi Stadium.
However, with Sai Sudharsan determined to start from where he left in the title clash against CSK last season with a magnificent 96, MI knew they had their task cut out.
(With inputs from PTI)





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